The_Mix_logo3.pngThe Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Briefing.



         CenturyLink Restructuring

The FCC is seeking comment on a petition filed by CenturyLink, Inc. seeking a waiver of the FCC’s rules to facilitate a pro forma internal restructuring plan. Under the restructuring, CenturyLink will merge some or all of its ILECs in states in which it has multiple ILECs to reduce the number of Study Areas in the state. As part of this restructuring, the CenturyLink ILECs in each surviving Study Area may first operate under a single tariff with uniform Transitional Intrastate Access Service, Tandem and End Office Access Service, and Dedicated Access rates (“Transitional Access Rates”), participate in a single statewide Federal access tariff filing, and consolidate their eligible recovery before merging. CenturyLink anticipates that the first of these consolidations and restructurings will occur in connection with the nine ILECs it operates in the State of Louisiana. CenturyLink said that it was not entirely clear whether it needed a rule waiver to accomplish its desired restructuring, but was asking for the waiver “out of an abundance of caution.” Comments are due January 21, 2016; reply comments are due February 5, 2016.

         2015 Broadband Measuring Report

The FCC released the results of its ongoing nationwide performance study of consumers’ fixed broadband Internet access service. The report includes the following findings:

  • There was significant growth in advertised broadband speeds available to consumers, though the results are not uniform across technologies. Averaged across all participating ISPs, maximum advertised speeds increased from 37.2 Mbps in September 2013 to 72 Mbps in September 2014 – an increase of 94 percent. The maximum advertised download speeds offered by ISPs using cable systems increased from 12-20 Mbps in March 2011 to 50-105 Mbps in September 2014. However, popular maximum DSL speed offerings have not kept up with that growth. While average DSL consumer speeds have increased, popular maximum DSL speed offerings have stayed largely stagnant since 2011, with most DSL providers offering maximum download rates of 12 Mbps or less.
  • Actual speeds experienced by most ISPs’ subscribers are close to or exceed advertised speeds.
  • Consumers with access to faster services continue to migrate to higher service tiers.
  • Latency and packet loss vary by technologies. Consumers generally experienced low latency on DSL, cable and fiber systems. Consumers generally experienced low packet loss on cable, satellite and fiber systems.


          Charter, Time Warner Cable, and Brighthouse Merger

The FCC has paused the 180-day informal time clock for 15 days, until January 20, 2016. The “pause” is intended to ensure that commenters have sufficient time to review and comment on the large amount of new information filed in December 2015, and give FCC staff the time necessary to review both the Applicants’ materials and any responses.

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